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Celebration of Learning

The journey of 'What Do We Treasure?'


It all began when Mrs. Fischer started reading us the classic book of “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. We were immediately drawn into the story of a pirate’s life. With this book, came the excitement of a fictional story that assisted in determining our inquiry question “What do We Treasure?” We were given the opportunity to carry out a pirate research project and create our own pirate handbooks and treasure maps! Some topics included pirate weapons, food, flags, ships, history, and women pirates. A table entitled ‘Pirate Cove’ was set to display the pirate handbooks.

Next, we talked about what we, as individuals treasure in our own lives. We considered headings such as memories, history, people, pets, celebrations, needs, and luxuries. Looking back, we had to admit that some of our ideas may have been a little silly; like the Pizza deliveryman, Squirrel Appreciation Day and our televisions. We soon recognized that although we are grateful for our luxuries, these are not what we truly treasure.

We have come a long way in realizing that what we treasure is something that we hold close to our hearts and we cannot live without. We have also recognized that all treasures have a story and it is this story that keeps history alive. We asked ourselves “What keeps history alive?”. Mr. Conaty, the curator from the Glenbow museum was able to bring light to the question by talking about the story behind some of the artifacts at the Glenbow museum. Each artifact that we studied from the Glenbow museum has it’s own story; we spent time re-creating our own versions for a specific artifact by creating a character, an oil pastel art piece, as well as a diary entry. These were displayed at each of our exhibits.

This all helped lead the path to the study of our own artifacts we brought in from home. We inquired about the stories by asking questions. At our celebration we shared the re-telling of these stories through skits, displays of watercolor artwork and written pieces.

Guest Comments

"Congratulations!! What a truly wonderful museum. It is so creative. I wished I worked in this museum! Projects like this are what keep museums in business and history alive!!" Gerry Conaty, Glenbow.

"WOW!! I as so impressed with your museum. The skits bring the treasures 'to life' because you showed us how the items were important in someone's life. This is the most original and the best Celebration of Learning I have been to. Well done!" Megan Williams.

"Congratulations Glendale Museum on the fantastic displays. The artwork is worthy of the best galleries in Calgary." Paula Hough

"Congratulation! The exhibits are stunning and more impressive is the children's depth of understanding and passion for their work. Bravo!" Sherri Rinkel-Mackay. Galileo


Student Reflections

"I learned that an artifact does not have to be old. A treasure is something that you care deeply about. I was amazed that we set up our museum in one hour. Our celebration of learning was fun and I was as nervous as I thought I would be. I think next time I go to the Glenbow I will know a lot more about all the artifacts." Brodie

"In this inquiry I have learned that people get interested in other peoples artifacts very easily. What I think it is to treasure something is to keep it close to your heart and couldn’t imagine losing it. My thoughts on the celebration were that I was really happy that everyone took interest in my artifact (Pocket watch). I think now why I’m a better person is that now I know what it is to truly treasure something." Gavin

"I have learned that something you treasure is something you hold close to your hearts. It’s not just something that you have one day and forget about the next. Wow! The celebration of learning was so much fun. I think it is the best celebration I ever had out of grade two, three, and I don’t know if it is the best one we had in grade four because it is our first one. I look at things differently now that we have done this inquiry. If I went to the Glenbow Museum I would look at every artifact and think of a story. It was fun." Jami

"I learned that I could make a museum too. I treasure my artifact which is a World War 2 medal for bravery. My mom said that was the best celebration she ever went to! I am very proud of what we did in the gym." Tyler

"I have learned that a bionicle is not what I treasure. I treasure something that I hold close to me. I sure liked making the pirate handbooks." Koen

"In my opinion a treasure is something that you hold close to your heart and you can’t imagine without it. Artifacts are manmade but they don’t have to be old because it will be in a 100 years from now. I think that the Celebration of learning was a HUGE success. Everyone enjoyed it. My favorite part was the skits because you can tell the story about your artifact in a more interesting way then talking. I think that I’m a better person because when someone shows me something that they treasure I won’t think that it doesn’t matter." Evie

"I learned what it means to treasure something (to keep it to your heart, you cant live without it). The museum was fun for our celebration of learning. I liked our skits and being able to tell people about my artifact. I have become a better person because I didn’t know about a treasure. I thought the definition of treasure was gold 9 pirate treasure) but now I know." Myles

Teacher Reflection

What an incredible journey! Truly, who new so much could come from the reading of a book? Though it was Treasure Island!

Before our eyes, 'treasure' transformed from a noun (gold coins) to a verb. Similarily, a story became not just what is read to them, but what they can share with others. Students became the holder of stories of treasured artifacts. They gained an appreciation for what others view as a treasurable.

The students amazed me. They amazed parents. They were so very impressed with themselves!



Copyright © 2006-07 K. Fischer

Copyright for students' work remains with the authors.